The real estate market has gone through the wringer over the past year, and it has rapidly heated up now that pandemic concerns and restrictions have eased. In order to help decide if now is the time to be hitting the listings, let’s look at the real estate news to know if you should buy now or wait.
State Your Goals
The first step is to create a simple list of goals you’re hoping to accomplish by purchasing a new property.
Perhaps you’re expecting to grow your family over the next couple of years, need to downsize after a child moves to college, or are just looking to start your homeownership journey at all.
Understanding what you’re looking to get out of your home purchase will help ground the entire process in reality and refine your search as you start combing through listings.
Assess Your Wants and Needs
Now that we know what we’re hoping to get out of purchasing a home, it’s important to have at least a mental checklist of the features you want and need to have in your home.
How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Do you need a dedicated office space for working from home? These are all big questions to ask yourself and find the answers to before setting off on your home search.
Some people will place different values on different features, so getting a crisp picture of what matters most to you should of course be a priority.
Besides the individual features of a home, the location can be just as much of a motivating factor. The available schools, shopping, commuter routes, and even urban or rural surroundings can play a big part in these decisions.
Be careful to clearly prioritize your needs over your wants, and you’ll be in great shape.
Rates Are Incredibly Low
For homeowners and buyers, one of the biggest pieces of real estate news is the Federal Reserve’s cutting of mortgage interest rates.
This made it possible for current owners to refinance and buyers to secure loans with lower interest rates that will mean they’re paying less overall for the term of the loan.
Lending requirements have remained rather high – with some lenders requiring credit scores over 700 – but these are starting to relax as the market is opening up more and lenders are feeling less stressed over possible liabilities.
The current low mortgage interest rates provide a spectacular opportunity to take advantage of a short-term change in the market that could financially benefit you for decades.
The Market Is Very Competitive
Something to keep in mind as you’re looking at your local real estate listings is that home inventory remains relatively low and demand is through the roof.
This has translated to skyrocketing home values, and multiple buyers finding themselves in bidding wars over a property is becoming a regular occurrence. If you choose to take a chance on buying a new home, be prepared to have a plan B if your original plan does not work out.
Part of what is driving these bidding wars is the buyer’s fear of missing out on a window of opportunity due to the low-interest rates.
If you’re setting out to purchase your first home, this could easily be your time to shine.
Between the low interest rates and first-time homebuyer incentives from local and federal grants, you are being presented with an amazing chance to buy a home and come out on top.
Check your county and state for any first-time home buyer bonuses and do your best to keep them in mind when negotiating the closing price on your chosen home.